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Nutrition Knowledge and Parental Schooling as Inputs to Child Nutrition in the Long and Short Run

  • Patrick Webb
  • Steven Block

Drawing on a large household survey in rural Central Java, Indonesia, we address the functional distinction between formal education and nutrition knowledge. Applying parametric and nonparametric techniques to household data from rural Indonesia the study finds that: 1) Mothers' nutrition knowledge has a strong, positive impact on child nutrition in the short-term (weight-forheight), controlling for mother's education and income; 2) by contrast, formal schooling dominates nutrition knowledge in determining child anthropometric outcomes in the longer run (height-for-age); 3) to the extent that maternal education contributes to shorter-run child outcomes its effects are meditated through nutrition knowledge; and, 4) paternal education contributes independently to long-run (but not short-run) child nutrition. The results suggest a potentially large role for nutrition education in combating child malnutrition in poor countries with limited schooling infrastructure and/or limited access to education by the very poor.

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File URL: http://www.nutrition.tufts.edu/documents/fpan/wp21-knowledge_schooling.pdf
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Paper provided by Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy in its series Working Papers in Food Policy and Nutrition with number 21.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fsn:wpaper:21
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.nutrition.tufts.edu

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  1. Smith, Lisa C. & Haddad, Lawrence James, 2000. "Explaining child malnutrition in developing countries: a cross-country analysis," Research reports 111, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  2. Pitt, Mark M & Rosenzweig, Mark R, 1985. "Health and Nutrient Consumption across and within Farm Households," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(2), pages 212-23, May.
  3. Steven A. Block & Lynnda Keiss & Patrick Webb & S. Kosen & Regina Moench-Pfanner & Martin W. Bloem & C. Peter Timmer, 2002. "Did Indonesia's Cries of 1997/98 Affect Child Nutrition? A Cohort Decomposition Analysis of National Nutrition Surveillance Data," Working Papers in Food Policy and Nutrition 05, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.
  4. Alan B. Krueger & Mikael Lindahl, 2000. "Education for Growth: Why and For Whom?," NBER Working Papers 7591, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Vani K. Borooah, 2002. "The Role of Maternal Literacy in Reducing the Risk of Child Malnutrition in India," ICER Working Papers 31-2002, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
  6. Paul Collier & Marcel Fafchamps & Francis Teal & Stefan Dercon, 1998. "Rates of return on physical and human capital in Africa`s manufacturing sector," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/1998-12, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  7. Haddad, Lawrence James & Peña, Christine & Nishida, Chizuru & Quisumbing, Agnes R. & Slack, Alison T., 1996. "Food security and nutrition implications of intrahousehold bias," FCND discussion papers 19, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  8. Bigsten, Arne, et al, 2000. "Rates of Return on Physical and Human Capital in Africa's Manufacturing Sector," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 48(4), pages 801-27, July.
  9. Paul Glewwe, 1999. "Why Does Mother's Schooling Raise Child Health in Developing Countries? Evidence from Morocco," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(1), pages 124-159.
  10. Penders, Christopher L. & Staatz, John M. & Tefft, James F., 2000. "How does Agricultural Development Affect Child Nutrition in Mali?," Food Security International Development Policy Syntheses 11313, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
  11. Steven Block, 2002. "Nutrition Knowledge Versus Schooling in the Demand for Child Micronutrient Status," Working Papers in Food Policy and Nutrition 10, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.
  12. Sahn, David E. & Alderman, Harold, 1997. "On the determinants of nutrition in Mozambique: The importance of age-specific effects," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 577-588, January.
  13. Wolfe, Barbara L & Behrman, Jere R, 1983. "Is Income Overrated in Determining Adequate Nutrition?," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(3), pages 525-49, April.
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